Sunday Angelus: Benedict XVI Recalls the Plight of Refugees


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VATICAN CITY, 21 JUN 2009 (VIS) - At the end of Sunday's Mass, celebrated in front of the church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, Benedict XVI prayed the Angelus, and recalled St. Pio's own love for the Virgin Mary.

"Love the Virgin and make her loved", said Pope Benedict. "This is what St. Pio would tell people, and more than the words themselves what counted was the exemplary witness of his own profound devotion to the heavenly Mother". The entire life and apostolate of St. Pio of Pietrelcina "took place under the maternal gaze of Mary and with the power of her intercession".

In a special way the Holy Father then entrusted the Year for Priests - which was inaugurated last Friday, Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus - to the intercession of the Virgin and of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, expressing the hope that it be "a privileged occasion to turn the spotlight on the importance of the mission and saintliness of priests in the service of the Church and of humanity in the third millennium".

Finally the Holy Father spoke of World Refugee Day, which was celebrated yesterday under the patronage of the United Nations. "Let us also pray today", he said, "for the difficult and sometime dramatic situation of refugees. ... Many are the people who seek refuge in other countries, fleeing from wars, persecution and natural disasters. Receiving them creates no small number of difficulties yet it is nonetheless incumbent upon us. May it be God's will that, with everyone's commitment, the causes of such a sad phenomenon may as far as possible be removed".